Established in 1984 in Provo, Utah, Nu Skin distributes anti-aging and nutritional supplements products in more than 50 markets worldwide. It has a history of legal issues; for example, in 1992, it settled with five states over deceptive advertising and income overstatement. It points to a scientific basis for the effectiveness of its products, but many customers dispute the claims.
How Does It Work?
Most of Nu Skin’s revenue comes from non-U.S. markets. In the United States and elsewhere, Nu Skin distributors sell products and recruit other distributors. They pay to have a presence on the Nu Skin website and also pay for business cards and the like. The scientific validity of Nu Skin products is sometimes in question; as an example, one product says it will reduce or erase fine lines in as little as seven days, but some customers say no. Nu Skin does employ labs to validate product claims. For example, its scientists work to ensure active ingredient standardization and to carry out clinical trials and studies as necessary. According to the company’s website, Nu Skin uses proprietary technology in its operations.
Nu Skin distributors pay a $35 fee for a startup kit and pay an annual fee of $20. They are able to resell the products they purchase for whatever price they set. In this respect, the potential for profit is high. The other way for distributors to earn money is from the people they recruit, called a “down line.” Demonstrations and home shows are two common ways in which distributors get customers to buy Nu Skin products.
Nu Skin refunds 90 percent of the purchase price to distributors who return unopened products within 12 months of purchase; the refund is 100 percent for returns within 30 days of purchase. For customer purchases directly from Nu Skin, the company gives a refund of 100 percent as long as the product is sent back within 30 days. Shipping is at the customer’s expense.
Customer Service Contact Info
Nu Skin’s website gives a host of customer service contact options, both via email and phone. For instance, to reach product support, a customer would email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-800-487-1000, Option 4. Of course, most customer inquiries should be directed toward the customer’s distributor when possible.
Nu Skin has worked hard to shore up its reputation after a string of legal issues in the 1990s and early 2000s over issues such as deceptive claims. Its products undergo scientific validity to give them an added sheen of legitimacy. Where Nu Skin’s reputation remains overwhelmingly negative is on the distributor side. Many report that it is impossible to earn money selling Nu Skin, with some claims saying that less than 1 percent of Nu Skin sellers turn a profit. On the other end of the spectrum are people who have been successful with Nu Skin. They allege that naysayers are simply unhappy because they lost significant amounts of money selling Nu Skin. The recruiters/distributors at the very top may draw from a pool of thousands of downline folks’ commissions.
- Products do not work as promised
- 85% of distributors do not earn a profit
Many people who enlist with Nu Skin stand to be disappointed if they expect to earn money; many do see Nu Skin as a scam. For customers who love Nu Skin products, however, signing up as a distributor may be a wise move. It is important for potential distributors to educate themselves on the odds against them making good money. As for the products, they seem to be just as effective as other companies’ products. Sometimes they work, and sometimes their claims are exaggerated.
Final Verdict: Scam. Most distributor’s earn very little. If this makes you feel bad, you might want to tip your NuSkin rep.