Optavia MLM Review (2022 Update): Scam? 10 Things You Need To Know Before Joining!

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By: Scam Risk - Expert Reviewer

What Is Optavia?

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? Take this quiz!

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.

Table of Contents

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

Optavia is an MLM company that delivers clean, affordable health and wellness products at a cheaper price than other health and wellness companies, with a service-first model that ensures they are always there to meet the needs of their customers.

Their health coaches can turn their passion for health into profits by working with their customers or qualified leads to help them gain control of their body, save money, and reduce their body weight using the Optavia company business model.

Quick Facts

Website: https://www.optavia.com/

Founder: Dr. Wayne Anderson and Bradley Macdonald

Date Founded: 2016 (refreshed)

Business Address: 100 International Drive, 18th Floor Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone Number: 1-(888)-678-2842

Type of Business: Weight Loss

BBB Rating: N/A

BBB Accreditation: Not BBB accredited

Optavia History: How Did It Start?

Let’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. 

Is Optavia A Scam Company? A Pyramid Scheme?

It’s unlikely that they are a scam. The fact that they have partnered with so many prominent companies — and those companies have positive things to say about the relationship — indicates that they’re a legitimate company.

So, don’t get the wrong idea here… 

It is entirely possible to build a profitable, successful MLM business, but there are better options.

Take this quiz to find out which business model makes the most sense for YOU!

Because unlike Optavia, it actually provides real proof of real success from real people as recently as a few days ago.

But with that being said…

Optavia joined the prestigious ranks of publicly traded companies in 2018, reflecting its commitment to sustainable business practices as well as sustainable health and wellness. 

Public companies are for-profit businesses who commit to greater accountability, as well as social and environmental responsibilities, in their business policies. They are expected to weigh the impact of their decisions on their neighborhoods, the environment, their workers, and other stakeholders.

All these credentials should silence the doubters about the company being a scam.

As to the question of this company being a pyramid scheme… 

No, it is not!

It’s actually an MLM business that sells health and wellness products. They are a legitimate business with real owners and real products to offer.

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.

Income Potential Review: Can You Really Make Money With Optavia?

Optavia Career Path and Rank Qualifications

Any MLM needs you to be able to sell their products and recruit people into the company. Both of these systems are more difficult than they seem on the surface.

Selling pricey health and wellness products is likely to be more difficult than selling other MLM products. For one thing, some people can find healthier products elsewhere that are more affordable.

Your target customers will mostly consist of people between the ages of 18-65. Children and teenagers are excluded, so the number of active consumers you will actually serve is drastically reduced.

Health and fitness is also more of a niche concept. Sure, some people would be interested in it, but many others would not. The majority of people who will want to be fit and healthy are already, and those who aren’t yet may find the price prohibitive.

All of these factors severely restrict the number of customers to whom you could sell. As a result, the chances to make money are drastically reduced. How many of your social contacts, realistically, would actually consider switching to more expensive meal replacements?

Sure, you could get somewhere if you know the right people or are a good networker, but most people won’t.

Can You Generate Reliable Income With Optavia?

Optavia Income Disclosure Statement

Optavia can be a sustainable way to make money. The unusual health products could be a benefit, but it could also be a drawback.

After all, people want distributors to sell trendy products. Not age old, more expensive, health and wellness products.

The downline is another thing. 

Your revenue is very reliant on your downline, which is a problem for any MLM. This means that your earnings (and rank) will fluctuate depending on how well others do. 

That is, in most people’s opinion, one of the worst aspects of an MLM. It means that you will never have complete control of your income.

The Optavia Compensation Plan

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

Optavia 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

Optavia 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.

If you hate the idea of recruiting and earning small percentages… take this quiz to find a business model that fits you best!

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. WRONG!! 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.

BBB Official Standing

There are currently 80 Customer reviews on Optavia on the Better Business Bureau website. The average rating given by the customers is 1.53 stars out of a perfect score of 5 stars. Out of the reviews, 517 complaints were closed in the last 3 years, and 270 complaints were closed in the last 12 months. 

Final Thoughts

Optavia #1 Recommendation

To wrap things up here, Optavia falls short is in scalability. 

There’s only so much time in a day and there are only so many people you can reach to sell by yourself.

MLM companies know this! 

Which is why they push so hard for you to recruit for your downline…you can’t get rich with it as a one man/woman show.

If it all sounds like something that fits you, then maybe Optavia and the MLM business model are good fits for you.

But why not be sure? Take this quiz to find out once and for all what works best for you.

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