Is Reliv a Pyramid Scheme?


That’s all. According to the FTC, Reliv Int’l Inc. qualifies as a product-based pyramid scheme based on their compensation plan. They are practicing unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Reliv Business Overview

Reliv is headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri which is where they develop and manufacture their own products. Reliv is a member of the Direct Selling Association. Reliv is a public traded company and has been in business since 1988 and operates in multiple countries.

You can make money five different ways with Reliv. These avenues are Retail Profits, Wholesale Profits, Overrides, Cash Bonuses & Trips, and an Ambassador Program.

Income Disclosure Breakdown

As of the end of 2021, Reliv has 15,130 active distributors. They had 2,247 Preferred Customers and 3,329 Retail Customers. There are nearly three times as many distributors of Reliv products as there are customers. Because the Distributors are the real customers.

The largest group of Distributors, Discount Buyers, make up 72.5% of Reliv’s total Distributors. These people can buy products at a discount and resell them to people at retail for a profit. They receive no payments from Reliv.

The next group, Earners, make up almost 17% of distributors. These distributors earn retail and wholesale income on sales to consumers and other distributors in their downline. This group made an average of $157 for the year of 2021. This does not reflect any expenses the Distributor had.

The smallest group of Distributors, Business Builders, had under 1600 people in 2021 and made up 10.6% of Distributors. These Distributors were paid on average only $5,808 in 2021.

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.22% or 33 people earned a trip in the past year through Reliv. Around 2011 Distributors qualified for a monetary bonus.

The median payment to ALL Distributors was $0 in 2021. The average payment was $640 for 2021.

Distributor Compensation Plan

Retail Profit

When Distributors share Reliv products with people they know, they can make 10% – 40% Profit

Wholesale Profit

When you sponsor another Distributor in Reliv, you earn the difference between their retail profit level and yours. If you are at the Master Affiliate level and make 40% profit, and your sponsored Distributor is at the 25% level, you earn the 15% difference.

Your level depends on your volume, the more people you have under you buying or selling product ads to your volume so you move up the levels.


If you are a Master Affiliate and your sponsored Distributor becomes a Master Affiliate, you earn 8% on that Distributor’s group volume.

Cash Bonuses and Trips

Less than 2% of Reliv Distributors received free trips or Cash Bonuses.

Ambassador Program

Reliv’s Ambassador Program is invite-only and Ambassadors mentor aspiring business-builders and represent the company at special events. Learn more about their Director and Ambassador Programs because I cannot make head nor tales of how it works.

Compliance Document

This document outlines what you can and can’t say about Reliv products, in one-on-one conversation, in printed materials, on social media, or any other form of communication. In this document, Reliv actively discourages Distributors from creating their own marketing materials and any Distributor-created materials need to be approved by Reliv Compliance.

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Distributors should avoid statements that claim that Distributors can become wealthy, retire early, become millionaires, or earn thousands of dollars a month. They should avoid terms like quit your job, fire your boss, or walk-away income.

SEC Reliv International Annual Report and Disclosure Statement

This is a fascinating document that provides an overwhelming wealth of information about Reliv.

Distributor Resources

Check out the Reliv Distributor Resource Center for all the info you could ever want to know on what resources are given to Reliv Distributors.

There’s an App for that

Reliv certainly seems like it’s taking the future seriously, they even have a mobile app for their backend so you can view your latest personal group activity, track recruit’s activity, access the latests training materials, and even shop for Reliv’s own merch.

The mobile app was developed by SolutionSmith LLC which also developed the backend app for Surge365, a MLM travel company, called Touch365 Mobile. The Owner of SolutionSmith LLC, Eric Smith, now currently owns NGAGE Mobile Apps. I would link to their website, but it is currently an expire Squarespace site. Before starting his own companies to develop tech for MLM companies, Smith worked as Chief Information Officer for Surge365 and YTB Marketing. YTB Marketing is another travel-related MLM that declared bankruptcy in 2013, after which is was purchased by Jamraval, Inc and became YTB Global Travel. Scott Tomer, founder of YTB is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Surge365.

What is ICSAR

Growing a Reliv business starts with ICSAR, Identify, Connect, Share, Ask, and Register. In the training book below, you learn to put Reliv’s five-step plan into action. They say you can “simply follow this guide and watch your business grow”

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Name five people from different “centers of influence” groups such as your family, neighbors, hobby groups, past jobs, and sports activities.


Decide how many people per day you want to connect with. Start by entering on person into your online contact system. Go to one person at a time in a group until someone decides to get started. Then, this person will now magically join you to talk to other people in that group!


No story is too small!


Once you’ve shared Reliv with people, you need to ask people questions to determine a person’s interest.


This is it. This is my favorite part. In the Register section the following quote is said: “If they start as a Qualifying Master Affiliate, you can order the balance of product from Reliv.”

Qualifying Master Affiliates have a Personal or Group Volume of $2,500. They are genuinely suggesting that by using this guide you may recruit someone that is willing to drop $2,500 to join the opportunity.

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