Nu Skin Review
Nu Skin Summary
Nu Skin Enterprises was founded in 1984 by Blake Roney, Sandie Tillotson, and Steve Lund in Provo, Utah. The company originated in the U.S. and began its first foreign operation in Canada, the year 1990. The Company is based on a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business model, where you have to recruit other people and build an organization below you in order to profit from your downline’s sales.
If you ended up here, my guess is that you have come across Nu Skin from a friend or a friend’s friend who will not stop pushing you to come and listen to one of Nu Skin’s presentations that will “change your life forever”.
Prepare for a change for the worse!
But is Nu Skin a scam?
Let me answer this by presenting the Company and my own experience of being a Nu Skin distributor.
“Achieve financial freedom and live your dream-life”.
Yes, this is how it sounds when attending one of Nu Skin’s “hype” company presentations. The event is meant to inspire and get your hopes up of living the dream.
Who would not want to become a successful business owner and create a residential income, not having to lift a finger (IF reaching Team Elite level so to speak)? The Team Elite level is the highest of levels as a Nu Skin distributor.
Well, let me tell you how it really works based on my personal experience trying to become an independent distributor with Nu Skin.
Let us first take a look into the company Nu Skin and its business model.
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What Is Nu Skin?
First, I want to start by saying GOOD that you are doing your research before making any decision whether to join or not.
Every business opportunity that requires your commitment in the form of time and money should be well researched before jumping on the bandwagon.
Nu Skin Enterprises was founded in 1984 by Blake Roney, Sandie Tillotson, and Steve Lund in Provo, Utah. The Company originated in the U.S. and began its first foreign operation in Canada, the year 1990, and now has representatives on 53 markets Worldwide.
The founders of Nu Skin decided to build a company that would combine innovative personal care products with ingredients that subscribed to the philosophy of “all of the good, none of the bad”.
I can no longer count the times I have heard this sales pitch. I used it numerous times myself like you were encouraged to.
I am not trying to go against Nu Skin and its statement because the skincare products are pretty good, after all. I used them for about a year and was happy with the results.
However, the products are over-priced and there are many products on the market that TOP the Nu Skin product line for a MUCH LOWER cost.
What Is Multi-Level Marketing?
In multi-level or network marketing, individuals sell products to the public, often by word of mouth and direct sales.
Typically, distributors earn commissions not only from their own sales but also from sales made by the people they recruit to work beneath them (source: FTC – Federal Trade Commission).
Nu Skin Products
The most recognized Nu Skin product is the ageLOC skincare line. An anti-aging series with everything from skin creams and serums to home spa equipment.
They also offer Nu Skin 180 body care, hair products, and cosmetics. I purchased a spa system for cellulite removal but I never saw any results and I have to admit I did not have the patience to use it every day for 20 minutes like you were supposed to.
More products are home spas for face rejuvenation, Pharmanex vitamins, nutrition supplements, and weight management products in the form of shakes and tablets.
The ageLOC skincare series and the Pharmanex nutrition supplement brands are currently bought and marketed by 950,000 distributors. The ageLOC line was responsible for 43% of the total profit in 2012.
The representatives of the Company do not like to call Nu Skin a multi-level marketing company. They know it does not sound good to people, so instead, they are using the somewhat less provocative wording of a network marketing company.
Many people associate the MLM business model with pyramid schemes.
This takes me to the next question: is Nu Skin a pyramid scheme?
Is Nu Skin A Pyramid Scheme?
With Nu Skin’s business model you earn an income from the sales you make, as well as from the people you have recruited to become distributors, also known as your downline.
The more people you can recruit to your organization – your downline – the more money you will make.
Most Nu Skin’ers are hoping to recruit remarkably good entrepreneurs who will build big organizations. This, in turn, gives the upline residential income without hardly any effort.
If you recruit several people with a strong entrepreneurial mindset who are also good in sales, you can make residential income without lifting a finger.
Your actual earnings are not the result of selling products but more from recruiting people to do the actual business. The more people you recruit, the bigger your organization or downline will become, and the more money you will make.
⇒ Is Nu Skin A Scam? You Decide For Yourself But This Is A Warning From The Federal Trade Commission Which Regulates Multi-Level Marketers:
“Not all multilevel-marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel-marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s not. It’s a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal and the vast majority of participants lose money”.
Robert Fitzpatrick who operates the website Pyramid Scheme Alert insists that more than 99% lose their money with the turnover rate at some companies exceeding 90% every year.
Fitzpatrick is explaining it like this:
“If you have to recruit and then the ones you recruit have to recruit. Now you’re in a chain letter. And in a chain letter, most people are going to lose. Most, being 90% to 99%.”
It is difficult to get any concrete evidence if Nu Skin – like many other multi-level marketing companies – is based on a pyramid scheme because often they make their reports too complicated and just too long for investigators to go through.
I would claim they certainly are since the upline makes more when the downline grows its organization.
The Nu Skin representatives always protect themselves on the recruiting events by saying it could not be considered a pyramid scheme because the downline only goes 6 levels deep.
This Is What Nu Skin Tells Their Distributors
It sounds like a cover-up to me!
Nu Skin is very well aware of the fact that it is operating as a pyramid scheme when having to write a disclosure like this. No matter levels or pyramid schemes, the vast majority of distributors end up losing thousands of dollars joining Nu Skin, including me.
6 Things To Consider Before Joining An MLM Company
The Federal Trade Commission Recommends You To Ask These 6 Questions Before Joining Any Of The MLMs:
|#1. Can you make a sustainable profit from just selling products without having to recruit a single person?|
|#2. How many products are sold to pure retail customers (customers who are not also distributors in the network)?|
|#3. Does the company’s compensation plan recommend you to buy large amounts of products to qualify for a more senior position in the network and bonus checks?|
|#4. How long does it take to start earning an income and how many distributors do you need to recruit to make money?|
|#5. What are the failure rate and average compensation for both a part-time and full-time commitment?|
|#6. Are the expenses of promoting and running the business higher than the average distributor compensation?|
I can answer question #3 from experience. Yes, they do encourage that you invest in a large number of products to be able to create your own organization.
This is where things get worse…To make any money whatsoever with Nu Skin, you have to be part of their monthly automatic delivery rewards (ADR) program. You have to continuously order products for a certain amount. They are forcing you to purchase from them, while also getting free marketing from new and “old” recruits!
How could I fall for this voracity?
To defend this, they say: “Hey you have to buy products from somewhere anyway right?!”
You Should Not Have To Pay For A Business You Are Heavily Marketing
How My Nu Skin Experience Started
This is me visiting Tucci Nail Spa during my Nu Skin days. The owner, Anthony Martucci, is a friend of mine.
I met a friend from my home country, Sweden, who I used to work with at a local gym in Stockholm (the capital city of Sweden). I met her while living in Miami, Florida. She had also left Sweden for sunny Miami, so that was quite a coincidence.
She introduced me to Nu Skin and took me to one of their meetings. They made it sound like an amazing business opportunity and so easy to make the “big bucks” in no time.
Financial freedom is just around the corner, wihooo!
So they said at least!
I left the meeting convinced Nu Skin would be my thing. I was also happy to be able to work with my friend again.
She recommended me to go BIG if I was going to invest efforts in doing the business. She convinced me to start with buying the large inventory package, and so I did.
Remember now…this is where she also got her cut because I became her downline. Of course, she recommended that I should invest in all those products since she was making more money the more I bought!
Maybe not totally in vain because you get products for the money but I did not really need them, so for me, the money was wasted. Even today, 3 years later, I still have products left.
You have to score, at least, 2500 points in order to qualify for starting your own organization as an independent distributor. Every dollar is translated into points – so $1 is 1 point.
My friend told me I would earn 1000 points when buying this package and that it would give me a head start collecting the remaining 1500 points, which she promised would not take long.
That was not the case!
But I trusted her and went for it. I bought products for $1000 while sweating a bit. It is not every day you buy skincare products for $1000.
I did try hard reaching the 2500 points!
We were running around to company after company that was active in skincare industry and tried to book meetings with the store manager, in order to sell products or convince them to do the business.
It did not go well!
I Was So Frustrated From Having Invested Full-Time In The Nu Skin Business For 3 Months, Plus Lots Of Capital, And I Only Got One Sale!
Three months seems like a LONG time when trying to promote a business with the same sales pitches over and over and you are not getting through to anybody.
The typical answer: “Let me think about it” or “No, I do not want to get involved in those pyramid schemes”…, and on and on.
After months of regular meetings that took time away from loved ones (they were always at night when people had finished their regular jobs), I threw in the towel and gave up.
Is Nu Skin A Scam? – The Lie And Rule I Never Approved Of
Back to the question: Is Nu Skin a scam?
Well, another way of “fishing people in” is how they tell you to start small on the side of your regular work. This is exactly how they are cashing in money by the monthly ADR subscriptions from people trying to do the business as a side-hustle.
In reality, Nu Skin knows that you do not stand a chance to build an organization on the side of a full-time job.
It takes a 100% commitment and a portion of good luck to succeed. Nu Skin is using people and is making them believe they can build a business from only buying a few products each month.
A little “scammy” if you ask me.
No matter where you were at the time, you were told to apply this rule. I tried it a couple of times but was never comfortable with it. Instead, I tried to book real meetings with spa salons, hairdressers, and nail salons to try selling Nu Skin’s products and possibly also make them do the business.
Presenting Nu Skin’s Commission Plan
“To qualify for commissions and as an active distributor, you have to generate 100 PSV (personal sales volume) and have to purchase or sell a minimum of $100 in products every month.
$2,000 in monthly sales must be made by their team, accounting for the majority of Nu Skin’s sales. Most of them will lose thousands of dollars in this scheme and have unsold products in their basements” (source: Fortune).
The commission data below are taken from Nu Skin’s report from 2013:
14.19% – An average of US active distributes who earned a commission check on a monthly basis. Observe that 85% of active distributors did not earn a cent.
5.38% – Earned a monthly average commission of $30.
$176 – Is the average commission paid to US Active Distributors each month. A yearly income of $2112 according to their numbers.
These are NOT the numbers they show you on the meetings!
No, no…. at the meetings, they make sure to bring lots of success stories to wow you. They bring people from high up the chain that are making millions.
There are actually a FEW people who are making millions with Nu Skin but to get there, you will need a big portion of good luck, know how to recruit people, and be good at bending the truth more than a little.
I am saying “be good at bending the truth” because the business model offers such a low success rate, and still, you are trying to convince your friends to invest time and money in the business.
Nu Skin claims it is so easy, and that their business model is your ticket to financial freedom. They are as bold as stating that anyone can do the business, just from being a user of their products.
I certainly could not, and I ended up spending way too much on their products!
The few people that do make a decent income are doing that from having fooled their downline to first invest in the big inventory package so they will have a chance to start their own organization, and then they get stuck in the monthly ADR program, which forces them to buy even more every month.
Not morally right to me. But hey.. you have probably heard of ’em people walking over corps to get what they want.
What Will It Cost To Join Nu Skin?
Product Package Cost
Like you read in the summary of my experience with Nu Skin, you first have to purchase a product package. The product packages start from $475 up to $1519.
I did not purchase any prepared package. I hand-picked the products I wanted to purchase for $1000.
Automatic Delivery Rewards (ADR) Program
You will also have to sign up for a monthly automatic delivery rewards (ADR) program.
No packages are less than $100 so it will cost you, at least, $100 per month to do the business. Money that will add up pretty quickly.
This is what it says on the website:
You Have To Be Enrolled In The ADR Program To Qualify For LOI, Commission, And Bonuses
Then they make it even more difficult to get your commissions by saying:
“Commissions and sales bonuses are paid only to active Distributors. See Glossary for an explanation of Active Requirements, including retail sales requirements. You must have sold or consumed 80% of your inventory before your next order” – Source: NuSkin.com.
This is very odd. Why do they care about this? As long as you are continuing your monthly orders it should be okay right?!
Ways To Make Money With Nu Skin
It used to be 6 different levels you could earn with Nu Skin but they seem to have increased it to 10 levels.
They all come with lots of different rules and regulations and it is very difficult to understand the actual compensation plan.
Just To Earn $500 Extra Per Month, You Have To Reach The Gold Executive Level, And Only 1.09% Of All Nu Skin Distributors Reach This Level
Also, from the commission plan, only 1.59% actually makes more than $500 per month.
If Nu Skin would skip all success stories on its meetings and only focus on “real” numbers, you would soon realize that NO ONE would invest any time or effort into this business.
Nu Skin knows this and the Company is smart enough to invite the same two couples as speakers, an American couple and a Japanese couple that have been incredibly successful with Nu Skin.
Nu Skin Has been In Legal Hot-Waters More Than Once
Another issue that raises the question: is Nu Skin a scam?, is the fact that Nu Skin has been in legal hot-waters numerous times. For example in 1997, Nu Skin had to pay $1.5 million to resolve FTC charges over fat loss claims for supplements – Source: FTC.
Recently in 2016, Nu Skin settled $47 Million for operating a pyramid scheme after being sued by China in a Utah federal court. The Company was also forced to pay another $750,000 for bribing a top Chinese official with funds from Nu Skin’s charitable division after a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probe – Source: Wikipedia.
Nu Skin Pros & Cons
Why don’t we start with this incident:
One of the co-founders of Nu Skin, Nedra Roney, was deleted from the website in an attempt to hide she is a co-founder because she has been involved in several lawsuits. She also pleaded guilty to prescription-drug fraud in 1996 – Source: Fortune.
This is only one of several outrageous stories with Nu Skin founders involved.
Who Is Nu Skin For?
- Nu Skin is for the person who is comfortable with recruiting (mostly bothering) family and friends to get them to join so they can grow their downline and make an income off of it.
- Nu Skin is for the person who has tremendous sales skills and can convince people to join a pyramid scheme.
- Nu Skin is for the person who does not really care about selling products but wants to focus more on the “business opportunity”.
- Nu Skin is for the person who wants to keep paying the monthly ADR program to have a 14.9% chance to make a full-time residential income.
Verdict – Is Nu Skin A Scam?
I now realize I was blindfolded when stepping into the Nu Skin business because I believed in my friend and her success story.
She claimed she had made such a good residential income (from doing the Nu Skin business back in Sweden) that she was able to buy a spa and live off the money she made from it.
When I asked her why she stopped doing the business (she had taken a break from Nu Skin when we met), she answered she got tired of it and wanted to do something else.
Why getting tired of residential income? You never get tired of money in this consumer society. Something was fishy about that story but I wanted to believe in her.
Because she recruited me, she automatically became my coach (upline). When experiencing the tough reality of constantly getting turned down and only making one tiny sale, I was tempted to ask her for proof of income from when she did so well.
She never showed me anything testifying she had made an income from Nu Skin. I did not want to disrespect her and our short friendship but I did not want to appear like I did not believe what she was telling me and offend her.
I am saying a short friendship because this situation strained our relationship. I could not help feeling a bit fooled by her since I had invested in all those products for nothing.
Not to mention the time I spent that I could have used for other money-making endeavors.
Remember that she made a commission from my initial $1000 investment, and also from being in the ADR program for three months. I was her downline. That is how the business model works.
On a side note, another MLM giant I have been a victim of is Amway:
My Final Advice:
If Someone Is Approaching You And Is Trying To Recruit You To Nu Skin Or Any MLM Company – Run!
You will end up investing more money and time than you will earn. It is such a small percentage that actually makes a good profit from MLMs.
I believe you have to have a huge network in the form of business contacts or a comprehensive email list to be able to succeed. You cannot just turn to family and friends, or people crossing your path, to make money with MLMs.
You may also have to pay for marketing efforts such as Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, etc., to spread the word and get people to buy products from you.
You will not sell enough products to benefit financially without help expanding your network.
Take my word for it.
But is Nu Skin a scam? No, I would not say so.
Even that Nu Skin is using less honorable tactics, the Company has been around for a while, and some (a few) people are making a decent income from its business model.
A Proven Strategy To Make Money Online
There is a proven strategy to make legit money online which is called Affiliate Marketing. I am working the business model as you are reading this and especially if you are clicking on any of the ads in this blog post. I make a small commission from every click from Google Adsense.
This is a typical ad from Google Adsense:
However, there is much more than Google Adsense!
You can basically promote and make money on ANY product or service.
If this sounds interesting to you, keep on reading.
How To Start As An Affiliate Marketer?
It is easy!
Choose a niche you have a passion for and start creating quality content that you post regularly. The more effort you put into writing relevant content, the more money you will make.
You can also market and sell other companies’ products or services and make a commission from the sales – all from your blog, website, and/or social media.
You do not have to invent the wheel yourself. Instead, you can jump on it and sell products that are already selling.
You can read more about affiliate marketing in a prior article:
Learn The Million Dollar Affiliate Blueprint For FREE
If you want to get started fast and learn from the best, I highly recommend the Super Affiliate System 3.0.
I personally wanted to learn from the person who could show proof of REAL earnings. I was amazed by John Crestani, the founder of Super Affiliate System 3.0, who actually lives up to making affiliate commissions of more than a million dollar per year in net profits.
Yes, it is hard to believe, but see for yourself!
The course is easy to follow and offers 50 hours of fundamental marketing training on how to make money with advertising networks.
Do Not Let Fear Stop You – Anyone Can Do This!
You do not have to be Einstein, have technical skills, or experience to become a successful affiliate marketer.
This is one of the few businesses that ANYONE can do, no matter school degree, or prior experience.
Do not worry if you never built a website before. You can operate this business model without a website.
Although a website or blog will get you results faster. An easy solution is to use either the Shopify or Builderall platform. Both platforms offer pre-designed templates that you can implement text and pictures into. You will create a professional website in no time!
Before I go, I have to inform you that affiliate marketing/blogging is NOT a get-rich-quick solution. It can take months until you earn enough income to live off. This is a long-term business. A REAL business.
However, it can be as profitable as you make it. There are no limitations to how much you can make.
As soon as your blog/website is gaining authority online, more and more companies will contact you about advertising, link insertions, etc.
Already Have Capital And Want To Secure Your Future?
If you already have capital that you want to invest, and especially now in the ongoing COVID-19-related financial crisis, I would recommend digging deeper into precious metals investing and Gold IRA’s to protect your retirement savings.
Unlike stocks, bonds, and mutual funds that are all tied to the dollar, precious metals stand on their own. When the stock market tanks, the price of gold and silver is not affected, but often rises during these times.
If you are looking for a tried and true investment that can provide stability to your portfolio, consider a company like Goldco.
I gladly accept feedback and comments on this article. You may have a different perspective or have another experience from being a Nu Skin distributor.
Remember this: The Future Is Your Creation!
About The Author
Stina Pettersson is an aspiring entrepreneur who is working on achieving her goals as an Internet Marketer.
Stina was tired of her corporate job as a Marketing Specialist and wanted to stand on her own two feet.
Stina is originally from Sweden but has resided in the U.S. for the past seven years.
“My main goal is to maintain a flexible lifestyle, where I set my own schedule. Even that I work hard, I love what I do every day, and I also have the opportunity to help other people which is a huge gift.”