Optavia MLM Review (2023 Update): Scam or Legit? | Scam Risk

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Updated: June 03

By: Joel & Josiah

Optavia MLM is a weight loss program that uses the Multi-Level Marketing (or Network Marketing) business model to “promote and sell its convenient and easy-to-use meal replacement products through its vast network of Independent Health Coaches.”

It’s one of many making money online programs that’s centered around either selling the company’s products or recruiting other people to join the company as a distributor so they can sell products or buy the products at a discount.

The unfortunate side of this type of business model is that there are so many people who can join the program that you will be competing with.

Ultimately, with so much competition selling the same product, it makes it really difficult to become a “6 figure network marketer”.

If you want a successful business, you need to be in complete alignment. That means understanding your entrepreneur profile and the perfect business model for YOU! The first step? 

Now, we don’t want to sound all “doom and gloom” here…

Optavia MLM does come with some very helpful information to make money online and land some massive commission checks…

But the MLM industry has been plagued with issues in the past that unfortunately hasn’t been able to shake.

At the end of this review, we’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Optavia MLM and network marketing in general.


This Optavia review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.

Table of Contents


It was part of Medifast
People are offered a 30 day refund policy
Fat losing programs work


Not all coaches are real health experts
Products are expensive and hard to sell
Low success rate

Why Listen To Us?

My name is Josiah, and this is my Dad, Joel.

Together, we make up the team here at Scamrisk.

If you’ll let me bother you for two minutes, I’d like to quickly explain why I’m even here writing this review.

In early 2020, I had just graduated from college & had no real career prospects. 

I knew I was destined for something more, but I had no clue how I was going to make it happen.

I had this sinking feeling in my gut all the time… like the “big man upstairs” had accidentally given me the version of life where I’d be mediocre forever, instead of the one where I was, ya know – happy & fulfilled.


I had fiddled around with some different online businesses in college:

Some random MLMs, a bit of affiliate marketing, a (failed) dropshipping store or two, all the usual suspects.

Even my dad had been involved in MLMs back in the day… selling knives & other random nonsense people (probably) didn’t need.

All I really wanted was to find something that was going to actually work for me.

Maybe those things had worked for others, but for me it all turned up a fat “0” in the bank account department.

So I searched! And searched… and searched… and searched…

And eventually, I somehow stumbled upon a program that promised to help me build an income online (read about it here if you’re curious).

I didn’t really want to be “rich”.

The thought of making a reliable $5K per month & not having to worry about clocking in to a 9-to-5 ever again was all I needed.

Sure, there were people in the program doing high-6 and low-7 figures per year… but that wasn’t what I was out for.

I just wanted to provide freedom for myself, and if I was lucky, take my family along for the ride.

Fast forward a few days and a few phone calls & I was enrolled!

Here’s the first “money making website” I put up:

I built that site in 2020, and it still makes me $1,500 per month. It’s a basic 5 page website I built based on a template the program provides.

The best part to me? My dad and I get to do it all together!

So between the:

  1. Ease of reaching $5-$10K per month in income online
  2. Straightforward-ness of the system to do it
  3. Fact that I get to do it w/ my family

Is why I recommend local lead generation as my #1 business model for making money online.

Sure, it takes some work and dedication – but anyone that tells you that there’s a business out there that requires no work is selling you a lemon.

I’m not saying you need to sign up for the same program I did, but I would definitely recommend giving the business model a peek!

Chances are you heard about Optavia because someone – a friend or family member – introduced you to the company. Maybe you attended an online workshop or webinar, or maybe an in-person information session.

Your head’s probably spinning. This might be the first time you’ve heard about a real way to make money outside of a typical job.

So first off, congratulations!

You’ve just entered a whole new world…the world of making money on your own terms.

However, you came in through the wrong door.

Because Optavia is – plain and simple – an MLM. Throw whatever fancy name you want on it…multi-level marketing (MLM), network marketing (NWM), direct sales, or anything else, it’s the same concept:

You pay some money upfront for the “opportunity” to sell products.

The products are typically low-quality but with high price tags (because fancy labels and stuff).

You’re told that the key to building your own successful business is selling these products to friends and family, and getting them on a subscription (so you get “monthly recurring revenue”).

Unfortunately, like most people who get taken in by these types of schemes, you’ll quickly discover that the well runs dry faster than you imagined.

After all, they make it sound really simple. “Just get 5 people you know onto this magic widget, and things will just grow from there.”

And in your head, you think “How hard can it be? I know plenty of people, 5 will be easy.”

But then you do it, and you realize people look at you like you’ve joined a cult. You’ve become “that person”, who joined an MLM, and is now trying to sell questionable products or services to everyone they meet.

It puts a strain on your relationships, and you end up stuck between two worlds.

But it’s not your fault. These companies spend millions of dollars each year figuring out exactly how to brainwash and recruit people. And that’s why we’re here.

To help you find a better way before it’s too late.

So, what if there was a way you could build a passive income stream that’s actually passive?

An income stream that doesn’t require:

  • Inventory
  • Selling to friends and family
  • Selling to strangers
  • Recruiting people
  • Dealing with questionable products that weigh on your conscience

An income stream that brings in consistent revenues every single month (from a couple thousand dollars to well over $10,000)?

An income stream you could actually build in your spare time, and grow as large or as small as you want to, without having to spend hours a day chasing, selling, or managing anything?

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, check out Digital Real Estate.

Still Getting Paid

This is nothing like MLM, and that’s probably a good thing.

However, if you’d still like to know more about Optavia, keep reading.

Optavia History: How Did It Start?

optavia scam or legitLet’s first start off by saying that Optavia does actually have a couple different owners… In fact, It’s actually a subsidiary of Medifast.

The company Medifast was founded in 1980 by William Vitale who’s actually a doctor himself. He decided to make this weight loss company. To stay relevant, the “Take Shape For Life” program was renamed as Optavia in 2016/2017.

In 2016 this refreshed Optavia program was founded by Dr. Wayne Anderson and Bradley Macdonald.


  • 1980: William Vitale founded medifast (the parent company)
  • 1995: HealthRite changed it’s name from Vitamin Specialties Corp
  • 2002: Optavia current owners and found “Take Shape For Life” under medifast
  • 2010: Medifast is voted #1 on Forbes list of best small companies
  • 2017: Optavia becomes the new name of the Take Shape For Life subsidiary.
  • 2017: Optavia relocates to Baltimore Maryland
  • 2018: Optavia goes public with a market capitalization of $1.8 Billion.

What Products Does Optavia Offer?

Optavia provides health and wellness products that help people who are interested in losing weight. They have the ability for you to join a weight loss program if you would like and it will be led by one of their health coaches.

The goal of Optavia products is that you as the customer can establish a healthy habit or two and achieve a healthy weight.

Optavia offers the ability for you to become a coach as well. When you become a coach you will buy their “health coach business kit” which will help kick start you off to selling Optavia products like meal replacements and/or smoothies.

Is Optavia A Network Marketing Company?

Optavia Business Kit

Yes, Optavia technically does have a product of its own. The way they market there products is through the typical network marketing or MLM business model.

They call their sales force “health coaches”, but at the end of the day again, that’s just a fancy name for distributor.

How Much Does It Cost To Join Optavia?

One-time onboarding fee of $199.

They require you to buy their “health coach business kit” which contains products to kickstart your sales.

The Optavia Compensation Plan

You are required to sell as a “distributor” for Optavia. Your customers will have to give you money for the products.

You’re responsible for getting people to sign up for products on retainer from one of Optavia’s product lines. From there, you manage the whole distribution operation. Since you get paid for sales and not hourly, your qualified leads must be, at the very least, interested in learning about their products seriously.

Therefore, working for Optavia does not eliminate any of the legwork associated with traditional network marketing unfortunately. You will need space for product inventory to keep on hand, auto-ship, closing transactions, and payment processing.

Here are the ways you can earn money from the company:

Make Money From Sales

When it comes to products, MLMs have a tendency to follow trends. When it comes to makeup or skincare, you’ll always find the same products from different companies. Optavia, on the other hand, is not like that. Instead, it appears that this company is attempting to break the mold by concentrating on health and wellness.

Optavia health coaches actually serve as a type of middleman. Customers are simply referred to the products which seem to be the right fit for them.

There’s nothing wrong with that concept, but it may limit your earning ability. After all, the more groups there are in a supply chain, the lower the profit margin for those in the lower rank.

At first sight, Optavia’s income structure seems to be great. They divide commissions so that distributors receive 15% of the sale.

You’re also just only getting a cut of Optavia’s profit. Optavia is getting the bulk of the profit.

There’s another stumbling block. Only cases in which Optavia health coaches sell products to others do they get paid. Essentially if they have some clients but not enough to hit a certain volume for a bonus…they won’t get credit if they buy the products themselves to get there.

Sellers reap an average commission of about 15%, but only 8.16% of Optavia sellers made more than $100 over the last year. A whopping 21% didn’t earn anything, AND less than 1% of health coaches made more than $100,000.

With numbers like that, it certainly doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence.

Make Money Building A Team

The first step of the team-building strategy is that Optavia grants you a small % of revenue for each sales guy or gal you recruit from the sales they make. Even if the product is cheap you’ll still get a little cut. No where near the 15% you’d get if you sold the products yourself though.

Earning a small % of the direct recruits’ earnings is good, but keep in mind that this figure is still dependent on their earnings. It’s difficult to say what this looks like because sales are expected to vary greatly from one sale to the next.

The next step, referred to as “Leveraged Revenue Sharing,” is the next phase. This allows you to earn from up to six levels inside your marketing team. Though the brand does not use conventional terminology, they do follow a typical uni-level team structure.

The percentages are reasonable, but take a look at the far right column. To advance in the business, you’ll need to recruit a lot of people. Keep in mind that recruiting five new consultants will most likely be difficult, as selling expensive health and wellness products is quite challenging.

But as you can probably tell…

To make real money with this MLM you have to become a RECRUITING FANATIC. You have to recruit others and then motivate them to recruit… a vicious cycle.

Optavia Review: What Customers Are Saying

Some people ask “is Optavia a pyramid scheme?”. The truth is that they are not. They are a multi level marketing company. However, they don’t seem to have that good of a public reputation according to reviews on the BBB.

BBB Customer Reviews

“If there was a way to give negative stars I would give all available this company is a true fraud they take money from your account with out permission or us having placed an order and then hold the money for ten to twenty days. Buyer be ware this is a total fraud!!!”

James C

“I’ve tried Optavia off and on for several years. While the program did garnish results, it is expensive to remain consistent on and does not really prepare you to eventually stop the program.
Essentially it commits you to using their program for life which is ridiculous! However, the reason I am really driven to leave this review is that I placed an order about a month ago only to realize I once again was going to have to wait several weeks to receive it.
The constant delays meant that I would either have to place huge orders upwards of $500 to have a sufficient supply of food, or I needed to try something more feasible.
Needless to say I decided to cancel my order which I figured would be easy enough since they had not charged my account yet, nor had my package been shipped.
I called customer service and I was fed some excuse that made completely NO SENSE as to why they could not cancel the order. A few days later, surprise surprise, they shipped my package and charged my account.
Once I received it I sent it back (I paid for shipping cost) to only have another week ago by without them issuing a refund. When I called customer service again the representative just talked in circles that made no sense as to why they had not confirmed the receipt of my returned goods (USPS tracking showed it was delivered on July 8th) and opened a ticket to look into it.
At this rate I’ll be lucky to receive my money back by August. Absolutely a scam of a company!!”


Optavia is a joke. $438 for 117 snack bars, 18 protein shakes, 2 identical books and 1 worthless book. The nutrition of the health bars are worse than a candy bar.
***** Bar offer better dietary nutrition. Their snack bar are high in carbs and sodium. The protein shakes are a joke, even higher in sodium and carbs. If you want to lose weight buy your own snack bars and protein drink.
When you return the entire contents, all still sealed, plus the worthless books, that “full refund” is more like 30%. There is a reason why they are so secretive.

Maureen M.

I began this program several months ago and am very happy in general however, I am having a great deal of difficulty with their delivery time and transparency regarding when items will be shipped.
I was originally told that delivery is approximately 4-7 days but was later told that they are experiencing delays due to their amazing growth. My first order came after 16 days.
My most recent order was made on May 6th and here we are 3 weeks later and I have still not received my order. I have been consistently been told that the company has gone international and is not able to keep up with their orders.
This business is going to implode if they keep telling this to people. Last week they told me my order would be delivered by today, and yet here we are with no food.
They keep telling me they will send me some free food-THAT IS NOT WHAT I WANT. I WANT WHAT I ORDERED.
If I ran my business the way they are, I would be out of business. If you cant keep up with your demand, maybe you should have not gone international.
This will be my last order with this company which is sad because it worked well. I will definitely tell others to stay away.

Beth H.

As you can see…it was hard to find positive feedback in these reviews.

Is Optavia A Scam?

is it a scam

So, is Optavia a scam?

Not technically. You can make money with this program, but it’s definitely not as easy as the company makes it sound.

There’s a ton of work to be done upfront, no real guarantee of success, and – most importantly – the actual commissions are pretty small.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with front-loading the work and making the money later.

But if you’re grinding it out for 3 months and then your reward is a $50 commission, it’s not really worth it.

What if, instead, you could do that same 3 months of work (in your spare time), and your reward was a $500 to $2,000 payment that came in every single month?

And what if you actually didn’t need to wait 3 months? What if you could get started today and have your first payment in a week?

And what if you could double it next week?

Well, that’s the power of Digital Real Estate.

And, unlike an MLM, you can legitimately do this from anywhere. It’s a true lifestyle business.

Your laptop and an internet connection is all you need.

Some of the most successful students in this program run their entire 6-figure businesses from:

  • A camper in the middle of the woods
  • A beach chair on the water in Mexico
  • A small villa in Greece

quit your job

They’re able to travel around, living their lives first, and focusing on their income second.

Because even if they stop working for an extended period of time, the money keeps coming in.

So adventure, memories, and experience are the top priority.

And they never have to worry about how to pay for the next trip, or consider asking for time off.

If this sounds more like the type of life you want to lead, just click here to find out more about Digital Real Estate.

Are There Alternatives To Q Sciences?

alternative path financial independence

Yes, there are plenty of MLM companies to choose from if you want to pursue this business model. Here are just a few:

What Is Our #1 Recommendation To Make Money Online In 2023?

Digital Real Estate

Our review team has spent months researching, reviewing, and vetting dozens of business models and thousands of programs.

While there may be no “perfect business”, the research IS conclusive:

Digital Real Estate is the #1 online business model for those just starting out.

Whether you’ve never made a dollar online, or you’ve been in this space for a while but never really “made it,” Digital Real Estate is for you.


1) It’s Flexible: got an hour a day? You can do this. Ready to drop everything else and dive in full time? You can do this. Yes, the more time you put in, the faster you see results. But even with a little time each day, you can move the needle in a Digital Real Estate business.

And because this system is so flexible, you don’t have to constantly be working to make more money. It’s called PASSIVE INCOME because if you stop working, the money doesn’t.

Imagine taking 3 months off to just tour around Europe, rent a cabin in the woods to write a book, hike the Appalachian Trail, or live on the beach and surf all day.

This is only possible if you have an income stream that’s not tied to your time.

Jump All In

2) You Own & Control EVERYTHING: With MLMs and Network Marketing, you don’t really own anything. You have no control over the quality of products. You don’t even own your “team”.

Look at the fine print for most of the agreements folks sign when they join one of these companies. At any point, the company can change your commission structure, reduce your profit margins, or kick you out entirely.

With Digital Real Estate, you own the assets, which means you have all the power and all the control.

3) Little To No Startup Costs: It’s possible to get into Digital Real Estate with zero dollars upfront. Because, using the strategies outlined in this program, you can get a client to pay you BEFORE spending a penny out of your own pocket…even before you do any work.

Even without getting paid in advance, you can have your first Digital Rental Property up, running, and generating profits for less than $100.

Scott Lead Gen

4) No Inventory: Alright, so most MLMs don’t make you buy the products and fill your garage with them anymore (unlike the good ol’ days), but you’re still in a physical products business.

And physical products always have physical limitations. Even if you don’t have to manage the inventory, you still have to deal with supply chain shortages that cause major delays.

Imagine finally landing your first customer, and then losing them after one sale because they had to wait 6 weeks to get their order.

With Digital Real Estate, a 100% online business, you never even have to think about that risk.


5) Easy To Duplicate: Ok, here’s the best part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up and running, you can literally DOUBLE your income with a few clicks, a couple keystrokes, and a single phone call (and you don’t actually need the phone call).

Remember: each Digital Rental Property is worth $500 to $2,000 a month in semi-passive income (over 95% profit). Every time you decide to create another one and increase your income, it gets easier.

Because you have more knowledge, more experience, more results, and more momentum.

If you wanted to double your income with an MLM, you’d have to double your customers OR double the average order size of your existing customers. And, guaranteed that’s a lot harder than a few clicks and a few minutes of your life.

6) Make Money Helping Real People: This part is what makes it all worth it. In an MLM, your “upline” might convince you that what you’re selling improves people’s lives, but deep down, you likely know that’s not true.

Most of the time, you’re either selling a dream or a poor-quality, overpriced product with a fancy label.

And that makes it pretty hard to sleep at night.

But with Digital Real Estate, you’re actually helping people by solving your clients’ biggest problem:

Small, local businesses need more customers, and with Digital Real Estate, you are unleashing a flood of happy, paying customers for these businesses.

You make money by helping them make money.

Not a big, faceless corporation either…a small business owner who’s using that money to put food on the table for their family, start a college fund for their kids, or take care of a sick parent.

Once you see how Digital Real Estate makes a real impact in the lives of real people, you’ll sleep like a baby with a big smile on your face.

Boss of My Own Future

Now, the choice is yours.

You could continue browsing, looking at opportunities like Optavia which could one day make you money.

You could continue researching, never making a decision.

OR, you could take a look inside, consider what you really want, and join a program that makes your dreams a reality. At the same time, joining a community of over 2,000 successful students that are living life on their own terms thanks to Digital Real Estate.

A consistent, reliable, semi-passive stream of income that doesn’t depend on you or your time to keep producing profits.

All while genuinely helping real people who are grateful and happy to pay for it.

If this sounds more like what you want out of life (or if you just want some nice side income), click here to learn more about Digital Real Estate.

3 Responses

  1. so yeah I tried doing this and my friends were telling me this might be a pyramid scheme lol. idk this review says its not but it also kinda sounds like it is. just want some extra money why are people such creeps!!

    ps i like the quiz

  2. “lose weight” Yeah wallet weight.. Also I gotta say, I was gonna make fun of y’all for all the quiz pop-ups but I guess it was smart bc I did it anyway and it actually does sound legit.

    BUT if it’s just like this program then I’ll let y’all know. So far so good

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