MLM Reviews

Is Modere a Pyramid Scheme or A Scam? [2020 Review]

Welcome to my Modere review! If you are wondering is Modere is a pyramid scheme or a scam, or a legit business opportunity, I'm here to help you out!

I'm glad to see you are doing your research. The world is full of scams and it can be hard to find the legit opportunities out there. 

Modere is not a pyramid scheme but it is a multi-level marketing business so there are some similarities. The key difference is that MLMs are legal in most parts of the world while pyramid schemes are not. FTC has been going after MLMs in recent years and seems to be tightening its guidelines concerning pyramid schemes, so this might change in the US in the future. But for the time being, MLMs are a legal form of business and thus aren't considered scams.

The chances are that you wound up here because someone you know has approached you in an attempt to sell you Modere products or to join the business opportunity they offer.

Or maybe a relative or acquaintance is filling up your social media feed with Modere products, reviews, and recommendations.

Whatever the reason, something made you look for more information. Maybe that little voice at the back of your head said: "Could this be a pyramid scheme?"

Maybe you are familiar with the LuLaRoe story or maybe you have followed what happened with Onecoin. People generally have a vague idea about pyramid schemes but don't really know what they are.

So in this post, I will first help you understand what a pyramid scheme is and what to look for to find out if an opportunity might be a pyramid scheme.

Before we continue I want you to know that I'm not affiliated with Modere in any way. My site is about finding the best ways to make income online so I check out different kinds of business opportunities and share my findings with my readers.

I do at times recommend products I truly believe in. In these cases, I'm often affiliated with the companies, because affiliate marketing is the main way I monetize my websites. I want to be completely upfront about that because I believe in honesty and I have nothing to hide. I trust the products I recommend completely.

So without further ado, let's start by looking at what exactly constitutes as a pyramid scheme.

Modere Summary

Company Name: Modere Inc.

Company Type: MLM business in health and wellness, beauty and house care niche

Price To join: $49.95 Starter Kit


Modere is a well established MLM in the wellness and beauty niche. They manufacture their own products and have been around since 1987.

The company does have some controversy in it's past but nothing concerning it being a pyramid scheme. 

I think this is enough proof that the company is not a pyramid scheme. But it is still a MLM business.

Most people don't succeed with MLM because they lack the skills and traits required in direct sales.

While Modere does actually leverage social media, I recommend you learn a proven online business model that has helped thousands of people work from home. You can find my top recommendation by clicking the button below.   

What Is A Pyramid Scheme

I wrote an article about pyramid schemes a while back, so you might want to check out that for the full scoop, but I will tell you all the important stuff about pyramid schemes right here and now.

Pyramid schemes are systems that are designed to get people's hopes up in hope for quick riches or more freedom, in exchange for a fee of course.

Typically, in a pyramid scheme, your first contact will be someone you know or have recently met. They will start talking about this incredible business opportunity that has transferred people's lives, made them rich, etc.

You are suspicious at first but then start to warm up to the idea. Eventually, you ask for more information. It turns out that to learn this opportunity, you will have to pay for training, invest in something, or buy inventory for products that are going to sell themselves.

After hesitating a bit you decide to pull the trigger, you deserve change after all! Once you are in, you learn that the business opportunity actually consists of recruiting people into the system.

At this point, you probably already understand the whole scheme but since you have invested a substantial amount of money, you promise yourself to only recruit enough people to make it back.

You manage to recruit some people and find out that you are actually making money! what do ya know, maybe this stuff is legit after all?!

That's a very simplified description of how someone gets suckered into a pyramid scheme. In a pyramid scheme, the only real revenue brought into the system is from the participation fees of the new recruits.

People will earn a share of the fees of the people they have recruited over several levels of recruitment (know as tiers or generations). The people under you are called your downline.

If you understand a bit of math, you can have several thousand people in your downline in a relatively short amount of time. This can add up to a significant amount of money. This is why pyramid schemes are created.

But that money is of course created with false pretenses. Eventually, the pyramid structure will reach a point where there will either be no more people to recruit or more likely the authorities will shut down the system and the top of the pyramid vanishes with the money.

Pyramid schemes are essentially a system that transfers money from the bottom of the pyramid to the top. They are fiendish because they can be masked as a legit business opportunity and many people in the system don't realize they are participating in a scam. A cult mentality is often formed.

This is the reason why pyramid schemes are illegal in most countries. They are known for taking advantage of those less unfortunate as people with lower education levels and those desperate for money are more likely to fall for the scam. And it's not their fault. Pyramid schemes can be extremely elaborate.

Multi-level marketing utilizes a very similar recruitment model as pyramid schemes. But there is a distinct difference between a multi-level marketing business and a pyramid scheme you need to understand.

What Is An MLM Business

Modere is an MLM business, so it's important to understand the difference between MLMs and pyramid schemes. MLM stands for multi-level marketing aka network marketing.

In the MLM business model, the company doesn't have a regular distribution chain of retail stores. It utilizes individual sales representatives instead that sell directly to the customers.

What makes this "multi-level" is the fact that the sales reps can recruit additional sales reps into their downline or "sales organization" like many MLMs like to brand them.

So, just like in a pyramid scheme, you can earn money by recruiting people into the system, and typically in MLMs, you will also earn income over several generations of recruits in your downline.

But here's the key difference. In an MLM the sales reps earn a share of the revenue of SALES their downline makes. They don't make money from recruitment. At least not most of it.

In a legit MLM, the main source of revenue will always come from the sales of products or services to the consumers. The participation fees are for training, inventory, and administration.

To make things more complicated, the line between legit MLMs and pyramid schemes isn't set in stone. An MLM that sells actual products but gets most of its revenue from recruitment, can be considered a pyramid scheme by the authorities.

Where the line is exactly, seems to be a matter of case-by-case interpretation as the court rulings haven't always been in line with each other.

It seems that the FTC has recently been tightening its leash as many major MLMs haven been investigated for pyramid allegations.

But the question in your mind is, where does Modere stand? Is it a pyramid scheme?

Modere Overview

Modere is an MLM company that focuses on the personal care, health, and wellness and home care niche.

Modere has been around in its current form since 2012. Before that, it was called Neways since 1992 and originally the company behind Modere was called Images and Attitudes.

The original company was founded by Thomas and Leslie D. Mower and it had manufacturing facilities in Salem, Utah. In 2006 Neways acquired by a private equity firm that used to own Herbalife.

The company was restructured in 2011 and rebranded as Modere and the ownership has changed since as well and the main shareholder now is Z Capital.

The CEO of the company is currently Ashma Ishaq, Chief Financial Officer Shane Ware and Chairman of the board Robert S Conlee.

Modere Products

Moderes concept is to sell products that look as good as they perform. "Stylish. Safer. Smart.". They claim their products are made with safe and environmentally safe chemicals and are scientifically designed.

They offer a portfolio of products in the following categories:

  • Clean lifestyle
  • Beauty
  • Personal care
  • Health and Wellness
  • Household Care

Modere Business Opportunity

Modere is an MLM business so it naturally offers a business opportunity as an associate. You can essentially make money in two ways, selling products or by recruiting people and earning commissions of their sales.

The startup cost of Modere is $29.95 which earns you the right to become their Social Marketer. This is where Modere is a bit more modern than many other MLMs. They are big on leveraging social media and I would guess these types of products sell themselves well through social media.

The $29.95 doesn't include any products, so to sell products you will need to get a $399 Build Collection Package. This is apparently not mandatory and you can refer people to the online store, but this will apparently jump start your business.

But if you plan on actually demonstrating the products and maybe hold parties, you are pretty much going to have to either buy the package or the products independently with higher price tags.

The compensation plan is complicated and multi-leveled, so this confirms it's an MLM business.

Is Modere A Pyramid Scheme

Now that we know what a pyramid scheme is and the background behind Modere, it's time to look for any evidence pointing if Modere might be a pyramid scheme.

In case you didn't notice, the company has changed its name three times. While sometimes rebranding can be for strategic reasons, often there is a need for a fresh start.

So I did check out what the older business names brought up as well. More about that in a minute. But first!

There are three questions I like to ask when finding out if a business is a pyramid scheme:

  1. How long has it been around? Pyramid schemes are short-lived.
  2. Are there real physical products or services being sold? Pyramid schemes rely on recruitment fees
  3. Are there any lawsuits or court rulings? If a company has been sued for being a pyramid scheme a court ruling will tell you what the authorities think.

1. How Long Has It Been Around?

Like we established already, the company was originally formed in 1987 and it has been rebranded a couple of times. Modere has been around 2012.

Generally speaking, pyramid schemes are short-lived as they are dependent on the constant recruitment of new members. A company that has been around in some way or form for over 30 years isn't likely to be running a pyramid scheme.

That said, it seems there is some controversy in the background of Neways, the predecessor brand of Modere that we will talk more about in a second.

2. Are there real physical products or services?

This is an obvious yes. Modere manufactures and sells physical health and personal care products through it's direct selling network of associates.

The fact that they have manufacturing facilities and that you can buy their products directly on their website goes a long way in proving that they actually sell products. Some pyramid schemes have had physical products as a front but the actual revenue has come from recruitment fees.

Modere is one of the few network marketing companies that doesn't disclose its annual revenue and turnover. According to Business For Home's estimate, their annual revenue in 2018 was about 300 million dollars.

The company has established themselves as a trusted brand and numbers like those don't come just from recruitment fees so they are definitely moving merchandise in large volumes. Nothing that indicates a pyramid scheme here.

3. Are there any lawsuits?

Well, this is where things get interesting. There doesn't seem to be any lawsuits accusing Modere, Neways or Images And Attitudes of running a pyramid scheme.

There are however lawsuits and court rulings concerning Neways and Modere:

In my opinion, there is no evidence that would point out that Modere is a pyramid scheme. They definitely have had some controversy in the past and at least one ongoing lawsuit. But none of the issues have been about running a pyramid scheme.

The company has been around for a relatively long time and they sell a lot of physical products, both facts imply strongly that they are a legit MLM and not a pyramid scheme.

Is Modere A Scam?

No. Modere doesn't seem to be a scam. It's a well-established company with some controversy in it's past that offers high-quality products and uses the MLM business model for distribution.

Now, one could argue that the products they sell seem to be a bit pricey and have some fairly. But asking a premium for quality is not scamming, consumers seem to be willing to pay after all.

The same goes for the MLM business opportunity. The fact is that most people who became MLM distributors/associates fail. But that doesn't make it a scam unless they have been recruited with false pretenses.

Modere doesn't condone marketing their business opportunity or products on false pretenses. No legit MLM does. But the problem with MLMs is that the individual sales reps that recruit people sometimes use strategies that aren't in line with company guidelines.

Now if they get caught, they will usually get terminated. But the problem is that in a huge MLM there are thousands upon thousands of sales reps. They simply can't monitor them very tightly.

So sometimes people feel pressured or scammed when a dishonest rep gets them to join and pay for the initial product pack. They then feel obligated to try to make their money back.

But all the above doesn't make the company or the business opportunity a scam. It's just an issue with the MLM business model as it's unavoidable to have some dishonest people as sales reps.

This is one of the reasons I'm not a huge fan of the business model. It creates a financial incentive to recruit in any way necessary for some people.

An Alternative Business Model

If you are looking at Modere because you want to start a home-based business of your own, I might have something interesting to offer to you.

While MLMs can offer an opportunity to work and earn at your own pace and from home, they are generally hard work. Harder work than most regular jobs.

You need to constantly look for new prospects, hold sales parties, arrange customer meetings, etc. In short, you need to hustle day and night if you want to succeed with MLMs.

I recommend you look at the potential the online world has to offer instead. The stuff I'm about to show can be used to grow your MLM business as well, so you might want to hear me out regardless.

Me and thousands of people all around the world are using a business model that involves a lot of writing but offers some very intriguing benefits over "regular" business models:

  • Work from anywhere in the world
  • No need to sell directly
  • Passive income
  • Minimal starting investment
  • Help people to solve their problems

I'm talking about SEO based affiliate marketing. If you have no idea what either is, it's basically about creating websites that people find on Google and recommend useful products on them.

The products are recommended through affiliate links and if a visitor clicks on it and ends up buying, you earn a commission.

The beauty of the system lies in the fact that once the system is set up, it functions automatically. Just think about, a website is accessible 24/7 and since sales are made through links, there is no need for manual steps.

This means that a website becomes an asset that produces passive income, just like real estate you rent. But with a website, you can grow that passive income by working on them.

You can also invest money in advertising to increase your income but you really need to know what you are doing.

This is definitely not a get-rich-quick type of deal. It involves a lot of work in the form of writing. You will also not get paid anything in the beginning.

It takes time and effort to build the authority of your site and once you start getting traffic, it usually grows exponentially, as does your income.

If you want to learn more about this business model, check out my Wealthy Affiliate review. It's the place where I learned all this and used the training to create two income-producing websites.

If you want to avoid all the beginner mistakes, also check out my free 7-day online marketing course to fast track your progress. You can join by leaving your email below. 

You can enroll for the 7-day course by submitting your email address into the form below. I will not spam your email and you can unsubscribe anytime. 

Thanks for reading and remember to share in social media if you found this post useful!

6 replies on “Is Modere a Pyramid Scheme or A Scam? [2020 Review]”

Thank you so much for this post! I am seeing so much right now, especially on social media, about ways to get rich quick and they are turning out to be pyramid scams. It’s good to know that there are some offers out there that are not.

Glad you found it useful Angela! Most of the well known MLMs are not pyramid schemes by the current legal definition. There are definitely similarities and it’s not easy to succeed one but I’d say Modere is one of the better ones out there.

Thank you so much for explaining the differences between a pyramid scheme and MLM. I always worry about getting caught up in one, but with your help – i’m no longer worried.

Someone had mentioned the Modere business opportunity to me, and I am really happy that I came across your review. You put a magnifying glass on Modere and gave an extensive & detailed review on their company.

For that reason, I always come back to read the reviews you post.

After reading this post, I feel like I can make the best educated decision for myself.

Thank you so much for the free 7 day course! I am learning so much, and you have always been so helpful!

I’m just glad you found it useful Elise! There are definitely similarities with MLMs and pyramid schemes so the easiest way to know if you are dealing with a pyramid scheme is to do your research. Google is your friend with this. Glad you found the 7-day course useful!

Thanks for the review Jukka. I got interested in Modere when someone shared a post on their social media, so I thought I’d do a bit more research.

It looks like one of the better MLM companies, but $399 for the products package to be able to sell is quite high I think. I thought the $29.95 might have included some products, so that’s a bit disappointing.

I’ve heard about affiliate marketing, and it seems like a more budget friendly way to start making money online…and I enjoy writing, so creating a website may be right up my alley.

Thanks again for the review, I will take a look at your Wealthy Affiliate review also.

Hi Stephanie! Glad you found the review useful. I actually forgot to update the pricing on the article like I did on the summary, the starter pack actually costs $39.95 these days. The product packages actually start from $199 but there is also the $399 package available. They are not mandatory though.

I personally think affiliate marketing is a superior business model. Or actually I think SEO and online business is superior to MLMs because there is huge untapped potential and many ways to monetize the traffic once you learn the skills.

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